Grace Information Management Blog

New South Wales Police Force End-to-End Service

The Business

Established in 1789, the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) is Australia’s oldest and largest police organisation. The Force comprises over 16,500 personnel, both operational and administrative, with operations covering land, sea and air. It serves the State of New South Wales which has a population of seven million over an 801,600 square kilometre area. This is comparable in size to Texas, USA and double the combined geographic areas of England, Scotland and Wales.

The Challenge

Operating from more than 500 police stations to a wide range of communities, NSWPF had most of its hard copy medical record documentation stored at Police Headquarters. The project to digitise the medical records involved the collection, tracking, preparation, indexing and digitisation of 5,000 extremely sensitive, confidential files. Each file contained information about departmental personnel, which required the document handlers to have official security clearance before undertaking the work.

The Process

A high level of consultancy was undertaken by Grace Information & Records Management (GIRM) with NSWPF in the lead up to the procurement of the “end-to-end” service. Discussions and
presentations provided NSWPF with a good understanding of the service and the efficiencies to be gained. One of the significant gains was reducing the amount of floor space the hard copy files currently used.

GIRM is a preferred supplier for ICT services to the NSW Government as part of ProcurePoint, so it wasn’t necessary to go through a tender process. NSW Police did seek additional quotations as required by ProcurePoint and then awarded the business to GIRM in April 2015.

One of the key factors in GIRM winning the business was the ability of GIRM to provide a completely secure service from beginning to end.

The Solution

Further consultation was provided by GIRM to establish the project’s functional specifications and determine the appropriate access parameters for the files once they were digitised to ensure their effective retrieval.

All collections were carried out by full-time Grace drivers using company-owned vehicles. GIRM staff handled every file which was barcoded before collection and scanned before their removal from NSWPF, ensuring point-to-point tracking. On arrival at the secure Grace imaging facility, all the file barcodes were again scanned to the secure chain of custody was maintained. GIRM used one of its own scanning bureaus to categorise, index and digitise all hard copy files. Hard copies were then placed in secure storage at Grace warehouses and later returned to NSWPF when the client was satisfied all requirements had been fulfilled.

The objectives of the project were:

  • Retrieve all the designated hard copy files
  • Index all digitised files
  • Digitise the hard copy files and contents.

The core elements of the project were:

  • Barcoding, sorting, packing and transportation of hard copy files
  • Preparation of the files by GIRM staff including removing file covers, removing all paperclips, staples and other fastenings
  • Scanning all documents within the hard copy files as searchable PDF files
  • Indexing hard copy files to be scanned based on key identification fields as determined by NSWPF following consultation with GIRM.

The Result

The project was successfully completed in one month, as required by NSWPF. Only Grace resources and personnel were utilised, producing more than 500,000 individual digital image files. NSWPF have since successfully imported the files into their internal document management systems, systems which were already in place in NSWPF. The project has dramatically decreased the time required to access and collaborate on the digitised files.

The Future

With the successful conclusion of this and other projects, GIRM is confident it is in a good position to again provide this service to NSWPF and other state government agencies. This is in line with the government’s Digital+ policy which was launched in 2012 with a stated goal of being a fully digital government by 2020.